One of the more interesting relationships in DC is the running battle between Donald Rumsfeld and his former aide and friend Ken "Cakewalk" Adelman. As I recall, it went public when Adelman, once a very loud Iraq hawk, began questioning the Bush team's conduct of the Iraq war around 2006. For example, he said of the Bush administration's national security officials that, "They turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the postwar era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional."
The feud recently surfaced again in the letters section of the Wall Street Journal. One letter this week began, " Ken Adelman's rebuttal (Letters, June 18) of Donald Rumsfeld's June 13 criticism of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea repeats two persistent myths about this deeply flawed and unnecessary treaty . . . . "
This may seem an obscure fight between figures of the past, but could be relevant if Mitt Romney wins the presidential election. He strikes me as the kind of guy who would think it would be great to have Rumsfeld around as an elder statesman.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.